We like to carry a bunch of stuff around with us wherever we go. This creates what seems like a minor problem: how to carry it.
Women, as usual, came up with a simple, practical and straightforward solution: carry a bag, a purse.
Women have perfected the art of purse carrying. There are small elegant bags for dress up occasions. There are smart medium size bags for businesswomen. There are fashion statement bags for the class conscious. There are the big carryalls for schlepping around town. There are beach bags, bags designed for new mothers and even knapsacks that don’t look like a hiking or camping tool.
Men generally consider themselves to be rational creatures (some even secretly believe men to be more rational than women); but they will not carry a purse for fear of being seen as effeminate. Men are funny and insecure creatures. For the most part, they like and respect women; but do not want to be seen as being too like them, and so they will not even consider the idea of carrying a purse as a solution to the problem of what to do with all their stuff.
While a few men (mostly European) have adopted this purse carrying solution, most others have not and look askance at those few who have opted for purse carrying. As a result, they end up with bulging pockets and/or so many things attached to their belts they end up looking like a repairman with a utility belt. A man will carry a two inch thick wallet in the back pocket of his pants, ruining both his pants and his back, rather than carry a purse. A man will spend a thousand dollars on a suit, then stuff the jacket pockets with so much stuff that it ends up looking like a well used fishing vest, rather than carry a purse.
The bottom line here is that while a woman may carry a lot of baggage, a man actually becomes a piece of baggage. That may explain a lot.
Many men become covert purse carriers. Some will carry a knapsack even though they are not going hiking. Businessmen will often carry a briefcase designed to carry business documents but used, in reality, to carry wallet, keys, palm pilot, lunch, etc. Some guys carry a shopping bag, preferably one that looks macho, such as an Eddie Bauer bag, pretending they just bought some cool stuff, when in actuality it is acting as a purse. Some guys will wear a fanny pack (waist or tummy pack for you Brits:-). Some men will carry around a laptop computer bag when they have no plans to use the computer; they just need a place to carry their other stuff.
Many married men cheat. They get their wives to carry their stuff in their purses. These guys are dead giveaways. They are the ones who complain that you can never find anything in a woman’s purse. Why were they looking in the first place, unless the woman was carrying their stuff for them?
Some guys are extreme. The use their vehicles the way a woman uses a purse. These guys are usually pickup truck drivers, but some car owners fall into this habit as well. This extra space allows them to carry around so much more stuff, but then, of course, they cannot stray too far from their vehicle or they’d be lost. You run into them all the time. Their smokes or chaw, or their wallet, or their cell phone, or their whatever, gets left behind in the glove compartment, behind the visor, in the door pockets, on or under the seat, or strapped into the gun rack in the back window. They never have what they want or need without having to run back to their vehicle.
Purses may seem ridiculous to many men; but the alternatives they resort to are even more so.
So guys, I suggest you get over this ludicrous prejudice against carrying a bag. It is ok. You won’t lose your masculinity. (After all, you already have one bag to carry your most prized possessions.) You can always carry this image in your head… Kwai Chang Cane, in the TV series Kung Fu, went everywhere carrying not only a purse but also a flute; and he was a tough guy who could kick anybody’s butt.